Jewish Quarter of Cordoba.
In order to know the origins of the Jewish quarter we need to go back to Roman times, especially the years when Córdoba had the status of Colonia Patricia. From Augustus’s times, the walled perimeter of the city was extended towards the south, and therefore the area occupied by the Jewish quarter today started to be organized and urbanized.
In the 6th century there was a clear process of urban renovation in the area, as a consequence of the establishment of the political and religious power, previously located in the north of the city. The building of a Civil Palace on the site where the Episcopal Palace is today, together with the remains of the Byzantine temple found in the Convent of Santa Clara, or the remains of the Basilica of San Vicente located under the Primitive Mosque or Emir Abd al-Rahman I, speak about the political and religious complex located in the southern part of the city.
After the conquest of Córdoba by the Muslims in 711, the area continued to be relevant, as it had most public buildings and the residential area. But the Jews did not start to occupy it at this time, since the Jewish quarter was located back then in the northern part of the Medina, but it happened in Early-Medieval Christian times. This is directly related to its closeness to the Christian Alcázar, as it was under the protection of the Crown how Judaism was spread around Spain. Since then, and until their expulsion by the Catholic Monarchs, the Jews occupied the neighbourhood we currently know as “La Judería” (the Jewish quarter).
The border of the Jewish quarter were not exactly the same as the current ones; for example, the Jewish quarter occupied part of Alcázar Viejo (neighbourhood of San Basilio), and the Jewish cemetery was located in the north of this neighbourhood, occupying the current area of Dr. Fleming. Nowadays, the Jewish quarter mainly consists of the following streets: Judíos, Averroes, Tomás Conde, Manríquez, Almanzor, Romero, Deanes and Judería, and the squares of Maimónides, Tiberíades, Judá Leví and Cardenal Salazar.
The truth is that we should congratulate ourselves on the good conservation state of the Jewish quarter as a whole. However, there are many aspects that deteriorate it, such as the continuous passing of cars, or the souvenir shops, especially on Deanes Street, which distort that residential old character.
In the heart of the Jewish quarter there is Maimónides Square, known in the 16th century as Armentas Square, as this distinguished family lived there, or later Bulas Square (Bull Square) or Arcediano Square (Archdeacon Square); that is, a historical location among others in our city. Nowadays we can find there the Bullfighting Museum of the city, which is currently under works.
Tiberíades Square is smaller than the previous one but not less attractive. There is a sculpture by Mateo Ruiz de Olmos representing philosopher from Córdoba Musa Ibn Maymun, that is, Maimonides. There are usually local musicians who contribute to the atmosphere with their music, and it has become one of the most attractive and visited places in the city.
The streets of the Jewish quarter have two clearly distinguished axis: the first one consisting of Judíos and Tomás Conde Streets, parallel to the old wall, and the second one, Almanzor and Romero Street. Between these two axes there are narrow and winding streets interwoven, some of them dead-end streets, as heritage from the Medieval Islamic urban planning in our city.
Judíos Street is particularly interesting. Right after entering, we are seduced by the smell of wine from Taberna Guzmán, which invites us to share a friendly talk with a good local white wine. Next, the Andalusian House, which transports us to the medieval Córdoba with its music and fragrance. We get to the Synagogue, the temple, the Local Souk, the market… As a historian from Córdoba said: “Rush must be left outside the walls of the city, time stops on Judíos Street, whose name keeps the echo of ancient Sephardic steps on their way to the old synagogue“.
If you wish to know the Jewish quarter of Córdoba do not hesitate to hire one of our guided tours. We are experts in the interpretation of the historical heritage from Córdoba. If you have chosen to do sightseeing in Córdoba, choose a high quality option, choose ArtenCórdoba.
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